Editor’s Note: Article contributed to Forbes by Lisa Batson Goldberg, Houzz on AUG 23, 2017. Link to Forbes article here.
Taking a personalized approach to your home decor lets you have even more fun with your design, and save a whole bunch of your hard-earned dollars along the way.
When designing your home, one of the most challenging parts can be making it not only look beautiful but also feel like you. If you’d like to have a home that’s reflective of who you are and not of just what’s on-trend, consider these ideas that won’t put a strain on your purse strings.
1. Start With a Self Q&A
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we rarely (if ever) take time to consider what truly makes us tick. Most of us just aren’t connected to what inspires us, what lights us up, or what makes us feel peaceful and happy in our day to day.
When designing a personalized space, begin by asking yourself a few simple questions.
– What do I value most in life?
– What makes me feel joyful, playful and inspired?
Do you love surfing, ’90s rock or salsa dancing? Do you love hiking, playing the guitar or traveling the world? Maybe you’re inspired by meditation, European football or spiritual books? Whatever it is, connecting with the things you love is the perfect inspiration for creating your ideal happy place.
2. Create a Vision for Your Space
Once you have some inspiration, creating a vision board (in any way you like) is a great way to explore design themes in a tangible way. When making a vision board, include photos, items or anything that makes you feel good.
You can either create a digital collection of inspiration or go old-school with a pin board and some photos and page clippings.
Once you have your vision, it’s time to find those special pieces that will capture the things you love.
But don’t feel pressure to transform your home overnight. Starting with a single piece that inspires you (like a piece of art) or adding small or inexpensive items from month to month will give some design love to your space over time, while taking it easy on your wallet.
3. Get Some Good Natural Vibes
Incorporating items that add a jolt of positive energy to your space will make you feel awesome when you’re in it. It’s like creating your own good-vibes ecosystem.
Plant life of any kind is one of my favorite ways to instill a lively energy in any room. Foliage and flowers bring color and texture to even the most mundane of spaces, adding tangible vibrance.
Most of us feel happy and relaxed when we spend time in nature, so adding plants is a great way to capture a little bit of this eco-boost for us at home. Whether a few small herbs on the windowsill in the kitchen or a big banana plant in your living room, adding something natural never fails to enliven your home.
As an interior designer, I love throwing crystals into the mix. Crystals — of all kinds — add a touch of nature, beauty and whimsy to a home. These awesome rock formations come from deep within the earth, so you’ll never find two alike.
Whether used as stunning design pieces or incorporated for calming vibes, crystals are a beautiful and natural element to enhance your enjoyment.
Pro tip: Crystals vary drastically in size and shape and natural hue, both bold and muted. If you’re looking to use them as a design feature in your home, visit a crystal shop to find out which type you prefer. With so many options, you’re bound to find one you love. While large crystals can be quite pricey, small or medium-size pieces can have just as much impact, especially if used in combination.
4. Decor With Meaningful Items
Using items that have significance to you is a simple way to customize your living space. Maybe you bought a Buddha statue on your trip to Thailand or have a funky piece of pottery that your mother made in school.
Maybe you have some awesome books you’d like to showcase, or your Grandma’s gorgeous quilt you can hang on a big, empty wall. Incorporating items that make you feel warm and fuzzy into your decor will help you feel that way more often.
Stacking books is an easy, inexpensive and colorful way to bring a personal touch into any space.
Whether you choose titles you love, books that have meaning to you or covers that simply look pretty when stacked, using them as a design piece is an effective way to give a room more character and charm.
5. Make Your Own Feature Wall
There’s no better way to feel happy and inspired in a space than to fill your walls with things that bring you joy.
Displaying photos, prints, art and hanging items that tell your story is a wonderful way to personalize your space.
When it comes to creating an impactful feature wall, the more you mix it up the better. Use different sizes of photos, prints, art and items to add visual interest to your wall design. Try mixing new and old, big and small, square and round, colorful and black-and-white. Framing your photos in different colors, styles, thicknesses and shapes will add even more flair.
The more eclectic your choice of pieces, the more unique your wall will feel. Feel free to mix in hanging items or hand-painted art, whether it’s handmade by you or someone else.
Pro tip: You don’t need to be a professional artist to feature your own art.
Taking an hour (or a week) to paint an abstract picture or a pretty portrait is a creative, fun and inexpensive way to further personalize your space.